Hometown: Santiago, The Dominican Republic
Schools attended: Infotec Vocational Academy in Santiago, DR
Favorite Karina dress: Marisa, it’s the one my girlfriend loves the most and she looks great in it.
How did you end up working at Karina Dresses?
I met Karina through the folks at Flirt Boutique in Brooklyn. The owners of that store knew Karina and knew she was looking for help setting up a solid base in production, with special attention to fit and quality control. She was a partner in another small independent fashion label, but wanted to start a new company that would concentrate on creating the dresses she knew women would love.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
The creative satisfaction I feel when I look at each batch of new dresses before we roll them to the shipping office. There’s something about seeing a group of 40 or 50 dresses all hanging in a row on the rack. Each one is like those little gold stars you get for being a good kid in school! Sometimes Karina shares the thank you notes she gets from customers and that’s a pretty nice part of my job, too.
What’s the worst professional advice you’ve ever received?
“Just keep getting bigger; hire more people, get more machines, keep getting more and more clients.” The longer I’m in this business, the more I know that you need to keep a reasonable balance. How big is big enough? How much money is enough? Everyone has to answer this for themselves, but at the end of the day I believe that the whole “bigger is better” is not a good way of thinking, at least not for me.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to break into fashion?
Come to New York! The networks and support systems here for this industry are the best in the world. And this business is all about connections and relationships. And keep that balance in your life especially as you’re struggling to break in. I started taking singing lessons at one point because I love music, but also to help me decompress from work.
Thanks so much for sharing, Teodoro!